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What to Look for in a Payment Processor

Thanks to COVID — and the social distancing restrictions necessary to stop its spread — more and more retailers have had to make the transition to ecommerce.

Ecommerce has been the saving grace for small retailers across the country, but in order to make that transition online as smooth as possible, retailers need the right payment processing provider on their side.

The fact of the matter is that there are many, many different payment processing providers out there, but not all of them are made equal.

With something as important as processing payments, the last thing you want is to choose the wrong one. Luckily, there are a few things all great payment processing providers have in common.

5 Things to Look for in a Payment Processor

#1. The right rates.

Pricing is incredibly important when it comes to picking out a payment processing provider. Even if the payment processing solution they offer is comprehensive and has everything you need, it won’t do you much good if it doesn’t fit in your budget.

There are many types of pricing options available for credit card processing, including fixed-rate structures and custom-rate plans.

The best option for you will depend on your credit card processing needs. For example, a business that only needs occasional processing (i.e. they only process a few credit card payments each month) will probably do just fine with a fixed-rate payment structure.

But if you process a high volume of credit cards on a regular basis — or you plan to — you’ll probably save more money by choosing a payment processing provider that offers a custom-rate plan.

Look for a payment processing provider that will work with you to find the right rate structure for your specific needs. It’s a red flag if a provider only offers a one-size-fits-all solution.

#2. The ability to integrate it with your sales tools.

No matter how you plan on making sales — whether it be on your website, your point of sale (POS) system, or both — you need to ensure that whatever payment processing system you choose can easily be integrated into it.

With so many different providers out there to choose from, there’s no reason to choose one that will require you to purchase new equipment or build a new website. With a little research, you should be able to find one that will work with what you already have.

Of course, if you’re looking to build a new ecommerce website or upgrade your POS system anyway, it’s a different story.

Avoid being surprised by hidden integration fees. Be sure to ask about any fees the payment processing provider may charge for integrating their solution into your site or POS system.

#3. A complete point of sale solution.

With the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of retail stores have pivoted to online sales, although, most are still offering some degree of in-person business, as well. Furthermore, even brick and mortar retailers aren’t set in stone. Many also make sales outside of their traditional premises, like at music festivals, fairs, and other community events.

No small business wants to have to deal with multiple payment processing providers for all of their different point of sale options. Make sure that any processor you’re considering has a solution for all of your needs.

From mobile card readers and complete POS systems to ecommerce gateways, the best payment processing providers have what it takes to meet all of your needs now and in the future.

#4. The ability to integrate it with your marketing.

The best payment processing systems not only make processing payments quick and easy for your customers and staff; they also integrate with your digital marketing efforts to help your business grow. After all, sales are dependent on visibility.

There are many tools and features to look out for that can help to make your website and products more visible, as well as to drive more customers to your online store. These include a comprehensive CRM tool, advanced reporting analytics, vendor integrations to help you stay on top of inventory, enhanced customer loyalty programs, and more.

In addition, you need to be able to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. That means that you need a system that will give you detailed information about your revenue.

#5. The kind of support you can rely on.

When you’re working with a third party for something as important as processing payments, you need to know that you can trust them.

If you’re running a special sale on your online store, you have multiple curb-side customers waiting for you, or you’ve got a line in your store, you need to know that you’ll get immediate support if and when you need it.

Thanks to Murphy’s Law, there are always payment processing hiccups during the worst possible times. And, while you can expect occasional issues with any payment processor, not all of them will be there for you when you need them most.

Look for a payment processing provider that offers prompt, reliable, 24-hour support. You need to know that they’ll be there for you to provide you with the support you need when you need it most.

If you’re in the market for the right payment processing provider, check out Marketing 360®’s payment solutions. And, if you're due for an ecommerce website that will make online sales smooth and easy, start building one with Websites 360® today.